June 12: Nepal Water Supply Corporation under the Ministry of Water Supply on Tuesday laid the foundation of the ‘Project for Improvement of Water Supply in Pokhara’ which is being undertaken with the financial assistance of Rs 4.83 billion from the Japanese government.
The government had signed an agreement with Japan in this regard on Feb 15, 2017.
According to Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), this will be the first water treatment plant to be constructed in Pokhara.
JICA said in a statement that the ministry will facilitate the construction of the water treatment plant as well as distribution networks improving the quantity and quality of the water supply services in Pokhara.
Minister for Water Supply Bina Magar along with Japanese Ambassador to Nepal Masamichi Saigo laid the foundation stone of the project amid a special function in Pokhara.
During the ceremony, Minister Magar expressed gratitude towards the Government of Japan and JICA for their long and consistent support to Nepal.
“Safe drinking water is embedded in the constitution. Thus, this project is significant in order to ensure improved water facility contributing to meet the SDG’s goals on water supply,” added the minister.
Despite being the second largest city after Kathmandu and the top-most tourist destination of Nepal, Pokhara does not have water treatment facilities and water is supplied to people without adequate treatment, the statement further said. Considering this situation, the Project for Improvement of Water Supply in Pokhara is perceived as an urgent and needful project that ensures safe supply of treated water to all.
According to JICA, this project will install a water treatment plant, transmission and distribution pipes with the objectives of meeting the drinking water quality standards of Nepal supplying all targeted households with water seven days a week. At the same time, the project will reduce water leakage, adjust the water supply pressure, reduce the non-revenue water ratio and take other measures to increase the collection rate of water tariffs and improve the operation system.
The water treatment plant site is situated along Mardi River, while other distribution facilities are installed across Pokhara Metropolitan City. The Project is expected to complete by 2021. The project aims to enhance the conditions of living environment of Pokhara city residents and also contribute towards development of tourism industry there.
JICA said it has been a long and consistent partner of the Government of Nepal in water supply and sanitation sector since 1970s.